Uprooted / Unrooted: Adopted and Donor-Conceived Poets Rewriting Family

Room 337, Summit Building, Seattle Convention Center, Level 3
Saturday, March 11, 2023
3:20 pm to 4:35 pm


The bonds that make “family” have always extended beyond its traditional definition; blood isn’t always thicker than water. Five poets redefine the notion of family, discussing their experiences with adoption-from-birth, late-discovery cross-cultural adoption, and donor-conception, and sharing how such experience has (or hasn’t) impacted the writing and/or publishing of creative work. To widen the discussion and make room for all families, this event will invite the audience to join in via Q&A.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWP_Adoptin_and_Donor_Panel_Outline.pdf



Lori Desrosiers' poetry books include typing with e.e. cummings and Keeping Planes in the Air. They teach poetry in the Lesley University MFA program. Their newest book, Keeping Planes in the Air, came out in 2020. They are the editor of two journals, Naugatuck River Review and Wordpeace.co.

Stacey Balkun is the author of Sweetbitter and coeditor of Fiolet & Wing. Winner of the 2019 New South Writing Contest as well as Terrain.org’s 10th Annual Contest, her work has appeared in Best New Poets 2018 and Mississippi Review, among others. Stacey teaches poetry online at the Poetry Barn.

Lee Herrick is the author of three books of poems, including Scar and Flower, and coeditor of The World I Leave You: Asian American Poets on Faith and Spirit. Born in South Korea and a former Fresno Poet Laureate, he teaches at Fresno City College and the MFA program at Sierra Nevada University.

Jennifer Givhan is a Mexican-American poet, NEA fellowship recipient, and author of Landscape with Headless Mama (2015 Pleiades Editors’ Prize), Protection Spell (2016 Miller Williams Poetry Prize Series, U of Arkansas Press), and Girl with Death Mask (2017 Blue Light Books Prize, Indiana U Press).

Leah Silvieus is a Kundiman fellow and books editor at Hyphen magazine. She is also the author of three poetry collections: Anemochory, Season of Dares, and Arabilis. She is also the coeditor, with Lee Herrick, of the anthology, The World I Leave You: Asian American Poets on Faith and Spirit.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center